Kosher Subway restaurant opens in North Miami Beach
The first glatt kosher Subway restaurant in the southeastern United States has opened in North Miami Beach.

ewalker@M iamiHerald.com
For the first time, Raquel Shneiderman can take her three kids to a national fast-food chain for lunch or dinner.
With fast-food restaurants on every street corner, that hardly seems like a big deal to most people. But when you’re an observant Jew who keeps kosher, it’s a part of consumer culture that normally you have to skip.
That has changed with the opening of a glatt kosher Subway restaurant at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center, 18900 NE 25th Ave. in North Miami Beach. The restaurant, which opened just over two weeks ago, is the first of its kind in the Southeastern United States and one of only nine in the entire country. Although it’s on the JCC property, you don’t have to be a member to visit.
“For me this is amazing,” said Raquel Shneiderman of North Miami, who was visiting with her three kids a couple of times a week since the opening.
“They should make more restaurants kosher like this,” Shneiderman said. “A McDonald’s would be nice. As a parent, you can control yourself, but for the kids they see it on television and they want it.”
The first kosher Subway opened in 2006 at the Cleveland Jewish Community Center and the concept has slowly been spreading to major metropolitan markets like New York, Los Angeles and Baltimore. Four are in Jewish community centers, while the rest are in traditional retail locations.
“We’re finding areas that are underserved and trying to fill those needs,” said Subway spokesman Les Winograd.
The only other national fast-food player with kosher stores in the United States is Dunkin’ Donuts, which has more than 30 Kosher stores, including one on 41st Street in Miami Beach.
“It’s a niche opportunity,” said Ron Paul, president of Technomic, a Chicago-based restaurant consulting firm. “It’s a good idea because it gets the brand the good will of the kosher community. I’m surprised that others haven’t tried it.”
Kosher wasn’t a big stretch because Subway already had experience with the similar Muslim standards of a halal diet.
Subway also once had kosher stores in Israel, but they closed because of an ownership issue.
While the kosher Subway stores are open fewer hours than a typical fast-food restaurant, they typically do sales as much as 25 percent higher.
“You have a captive market,” said Jan Risi, president and chief executive of IPC, Subway’s Miami-based purchasing cooperative. “I think you could have 150 of these or maybe more.”
Subway franchisee Maurice Lichy spent about two years working on opening the kosher location in North Miami Beach. He’s already working on another location in Miami Beach and expansion possibilities in Kendall or Hollywood.
“There’s a big demand for kosher food in certain areas,” Lichy said. “When you can associate a national brand name with anything, there’s an association of quality. If you buy a kosher product from Subway, there’s a perception that you’re getting better quality than schlomo’s sub shop.”
But taking a national concept and adapting the menu to fit kosher dietary requirements takes work. Lichy has to get all his own meats and modify some of the traditional Subway sandwiches.
There’s no ham, pepperoni, bacon or regular cheese on the menu. Lichy has come up with other substitutes like Mexican turkey, beef fry and soy cheese. He added Jewish favorites like corned beef and pastrami.
You can still order the Italian B.M.T. But instead of the Genoa salami, pepperoni and ham, it comes with kosher salami, Mexican turkey and turkey pastrami.
There are also no $5 foot-long sandwiches. The reasons are simple economics: The cost of kosher meats is higher and there’s the additional cost of a mashgiach to ensure the restaurant follows Jewish dietary law.
Most six-inch subs run $4.99 to $7.99 and foot-long subs range from $6.99 to $10.99.
But the costs aren’t a barrier for these consumers. After school every day, the restaurant is packed.
Daniella Abraham, a 10th-grader at Hillel, eats an apple for lunch at school and waits to have a late lunch at Subway. Normally she has to skip fast-food places entirely or eat a vegetarian option. Here she can enjoy a turkey sandwich. “It’s good to be able to come somewhere without worrying,” said Abraham, 15, a Bay Harbour resident.
“At other fast-food restaurants, we can’t just eat anything without thinking about it and being very careful.”

Posted on September 29, 2009 at 12:05 am by Rabbi Jeffrey Rappoport · Permalink
In: Kosher Restaurants, Uncategorized

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